Pediatric central nervous system tumors: a single-center experience from 1989 to 2009

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2011 Dec;33(8):605-9. doi: 10.1097/MPH.0b013e31822031d9.


The objective of this study was to determine the epidemiology of primary tumors of the central nervous system (CNS) in pediatric patients from a Brazilian oncology institute. We retrospectively analyzed 741 charts (415 males and 326 females) of patients under 21 years of age who were diagnosed with a CNS tumor. The analysis included patients from 1989 to 2009 and was performed using the World Health Organization criteria. We evaluated the distribution of age, sex, topography, clinical symptoms, symptom intervals, and classification of the tumors. Patients with clinical/radiologic diagnoses were included. Seven hundred forty-one patients with tumors in the CNS were reviewed, and 83% of the patients presented a histologic diagnosis. Males (56%) were more prevalent than females. In children under the age of 1 year, the supratentorial compartment was the predominant region involved (62.0%). Astrocytoma was the most frequent tumor type (37.0%), followed by medulloblastoma (13.6%), craniopharyngioma (10.5%), and ependymoma (6.8%). Headaches were the most common symptom, and the symptom intervals varied from 1 to 5010 days. Approximately 4% of the patients had associated genetic syndromes. Although it was not a population study and selection bias may have occurred, this study supplies important epidemiologic data from an emerging country in which population studies are rare.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Astrocytoma / epidemiology*
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Choriocarcinoma / epidemiology
  • Craniopharyngioma / epidemiology*
  • Ependymoma / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Headache / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Medulloblastoma / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Distribution
  • Teratoma / epidemiology
  • Young Adult